Students and Families - Blog

It is April and my child does not have an appropriate school placement for next year! What do I do???

Luckily, the SSATB has posted a webinar to address this exact question. The webinar is available to the public at:

It was produced in conjunction with TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools), though the discussion addresses all types of independent schools. It features experienced admissions officials giving incredibly candid advice about the process. I highly recommend checking out this resource!

The webinar is about an hour long and covers four distinct situations, with key takeaways described below along with when the discussion of each topic begins:

1. What if my child has been waitlisted? (approx. 6:50)

Pick up the phone. Better yet, have your student pick up the phone. Ask if there is anything that can be done to strengthen his or her application. Address concerns that the admissions committee may have had. Let them know that their school is your first choice and you will go if accepted – but only if that is true.

2. What if our financial needs were not met? (approx. 15:20)

There may be room for negotiation. Call the director of admissions and the director of financial aid.

3. What if we are not happy with our choices? (approx. 24:00)

Many quality schools accept students past the traditional deadline. Some schools even hold a few spots open knowing that great candidates often show up late in the process.

Important tidbit: You can call schools where you were denied and ask them to forward your application to another school that you now want to apply to. There are parts of your application, such as teacher recommendations, that you are not allowed to see. By having another school directly send your application, the new school you are applying to has faster access to your complete application.

4. What if we are just starting the process now? (approx. 32:00)

Again, pick up the phone. There is a list of schools accepting applications at There is also a search engine,, that allows you to find schools with rolling admissions. Note that these lists may not always be updated. Or maybe the school has just one opening, say for an eleventh grade girl, and you just happen to have an eleventh grade girl looking for a school…

The webinar provides much more useful information than I can possibly recap here, so I recommend watching the full segment as well as the Q and A that starts around 36:00.

The main lesson from this webinar is that there are still very good options for your student. You may have to “recalibrate” what you are looking for, and you may need to be assertive with getting information from admissions officials.